Digital Breast Tomosynthesis

Spire Tunbridge Wells, a private hospital based in Fordcombe, Kent, is delighted to offer the latest technology in 3D digital mammography: Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT).

Breast cancer affects one in eight women in the UK, according to the charity Breast Cancer Care, with 81% of cases occurring in women over the age of 50. Younger women may also be eligible for a mammogram if they have found a lump and breast cancer runs in their family.

Digital breast tomosynthesis allows our breast consultants and radiologists to detect breast cancer with greater accuracy in 3D, compared to regular 2D mammograms. UK and European clinical trials state that the detection of smaller and invasive breast cancers is faster through the use of DBT.

How does digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) work?

The system works by creating a three-dimensional picture of the breast with X-rays. This improves the accuracy of mammography by reducing any overlap of breast tissue, where small masses and distortions can be hidden. Any changes detected, which may indicate a tumour, become much more visible on the tomosynthesis images and easier to diagnose. 

What are the benefits?

  • Improves breast cancer detection by approximately 25%
  • Smaller cancers that may be missed can be identified more easily
  • Particularly benefits those with dense breasts, especially younger women
  • Fewer patient recalls

Are there any risks?

The scan will include a 2D mammogram at the start. By having a 2D mammograms as well as Digital Breast Tomosynthesis it will effectively double the radiation dose received by the breasts. However, we all live with natural or ‘background’ radiation, which is present in our environment. A standard 2-view mammogram is estimated to be equivalent to 7 weeks of background radiation or a long-haul flight to Australia and back. So, the risk of the mammogram X-rays actually causing a breast cancer is extremely low.

Who can have a Digital Breast Tomosynthesis?

3D mammography is suitable for all patients. Due to the latest advances in digital technology, women with dense breasts will particularly benefit. For more information regarding this please call on 01892 741150.

Do I need a referral?

At Spire Tunbridge Wells, we recognise the importance for patients to take control of their healthcare and welcome self-referrals for both 2D and 3D mammography providing you are not experiencing any symptoms. Please contact us on 01892 741150 to discuss in confidence whether you would be suitable to self refer. If you are experiencing symptoms please enquire about our one-stop breast clinic led by our consultant breast surgeons, where we will be happy to book you an appointment.

One Stop Breast Clinic

Speak with a Consultant Breast Surgeon, have a breast examination with diagnostic tests and re-visit your consultant to discuss initial findings and options available to you all on the same day. Giving you peace of mind and saving you time.

Click here for more information on our One-Stop Breast Clinic 

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